16 leading organizations changing the lives of Nigerian women and girls
Certain institutional, religious and cultural nuances continue to impede and stagnate the holistic growth, development and transformation of women and girls in Nigeria. Many times when faced with challenges, women and girls do not know where to turn. As Nigeria’s economic situation remain worrisome and as budgetary concerns grow, many programs that support women and girls are likely to be cut or deemed unimportant. Mary Olushoga highlights (16) leading organizations changing the lives of Nigerian women and girls. This is in no way a comprehensive list but only the beginning in identifying institutions helping to advance women’s rights and freedom in Nigeria.
Awesome Treasures Foundation: Founded by Jumoke Adenowo, Awesome Treasures is a faith-based organization supporting the overall growth and development of women leaders in Nigeria. Well known for its Woman of Purpose summit, Awesome Treasures connects women with one another and helps them to find their purpose.
AWP Network: Founded by Mary Olushoga – AWP, which stands for African Women Power Network is one of the leading platforms for African entrepreneurs. AWP has launched several initiatives to include the AWP Network Agropreneur Project, a training program helping women farmers hone their entrepreneurial skills, increase farming productivity, and household income. The AWP Network also launched the DREAM project – a pitch competition for secondary school students in Lagos state.
DAWN: founded by Semhar Araia, the Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN) supports talented women and girls of the African diaspora focused on African affairs. Members of this organization are referred to as DAWNERS.
FIN: founded in 2015 by Lola Omolola and currently with over 200,000 members in its online community. FIN, which stands for being Female in Nigeria is an online safe space for women. The group was created shortly after the #BeingFemaleinNigeria hashtag trended on twitter. The online group serves as a means for Nigerian women to express the complexities of their shared struggles. At the moment, the organization is using its very powerful platform to investigate the disappearance of Charity Aiyedogbon a woman who went missing May 2016.
KIND Nigeria: Founded by Hafsat Abiola-Costello, the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy promotes leadership development for young women. The organization aims to remove barriers to women’s public participation and seeks to end violence against women.
Mirabel Rape Crisis Center: Founded by Itoto Eze-Anabais, the Mirabel Center is an initiative of Partnership for Justice. The organization supports victims of rape and sexual assault. The center provides survivors of sexual violence an opportunity to gain access to free forensic, medical, legal and counseling services.
Moremi Initiative: This initiative provides leadership development training to young African women and through its MILEAD program offers mentoring, research and advocacy support.
Nigerian Women Fund: founded in 2011 and led by Olufunke Baruwa, the Nigerian Women fund aims to increase the representation of women in governance and seeks to address the growing concerns of gender imbalance in elective and appointive positions.
STER Nigeria: led by Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, STER also known as Stand To End Rape is a youth-led organization working to end all forms of sexual violence and abuse through education and advocacy; while providing prevention mechanisms and psychosocial support services for survivors.
She Leads Africa: founded by Yasmin Belo-Osagie and Afua Osei, SheLeads Africa is dedicated to empowering the next generation of African Women entrepreneurs. Its flagship program, the Entrepreneur Showcase shines the spotlight on women driving Africa’s growth through leadership, commerce and innovation. At this event, participants compete for $15,000 in cash prizes, media features in international news outlets, and exclusive meetings with top investors.
WAAW Foundation: founded by Unoma Okorafor and well-known for its summer camps and scholarships for African girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – the WAAW Foundation is on a mission to empower girls throughout Africa by increasing the pipeline of girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.
Wellbeing Foundation: Founded by Toyin Saraki, the Wellbeing foundation is dedicated to educating women on maternal, newborn and child health information. Known for its hashtag #MaternalMonday, the organization seeks to empower women and improve access to quality health services and health outcomes.
WiMBiz: founded in 2002 by 14 individuals who identified a serious issue concerning women in the workplace and in business, the organization focuses on leadership capacity building and networking for growth. WimBiz is well-known for increasing the proportion of women in senior positions at corporate organization and on boards.
WITIN: founded by Martha Alade, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) aims to educate, inspire women and girls to pursue and retain careers in STEM.
WTEC: founded by Oreoluwa Somolu-Lesi, WTEC, which stands for Women’s Technology Empowerment Center is a non-profit organization working to encourage Nigerian girls to use technology to empower themselves socially and economically. Well-known for its technology camp, the organization prides itself in introducing young girls to technology and helping to develop their bright minds.
WOWE: founded by Tori Abiola, her company Montgomery West Africa organizes Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and the very well attended annual WoWe festival and entrepreneurship conference.